Friday, April 04, 2008

Zambales: Hiking up Mt. Anawangin and down to the beach

Anawangin in San Antonio, Zambales is fast becoming a popular destination for those seeking a beach to getaway from it all. There aren't too many amenities on this secluded beach. In fact, there are none. It's a favorite of those who want to camp out with nothing but bare essentials. And that's because there are only two ways to get there, by pump boat or via a 5-hour hike up Mt. Anawangin.

We decided to do the latter, a night hike at that! We left Manila at 1 a.m. and after a leisurely drive, arrived in the town proper of San Antonio, Zambales. Our destination was Pundaquit, a barangay several more kilometers down the road by the beach. If you get lost, you could easily ask the tricycle drivers how to get there. We finally made it to the jump-off at 4:30 a.m. just in time to start our night trek.

The silhouettes of the mountains showed us why Anawangin is such a popular destination. As the sun slowly rose, a beautifully landscaped environment greeted us. Nature is indeed the best landscaper. We marveled at how the bamboo, the trees and the rocks were artistically arranged creating this surreal scene.

By the time we neared the peak, the sun was up. And the heat added to my exhaustion (it was another sleepless night and being the designated driver, I could not catnap). But to make the long story short, we reached the pass leading to the beach. The view of Anawangin Cove was nothing but fantastic! But instead of going down to the beach, the group decided to go up a few more meters to reach the summit.

With that settled, we all thought going down was going to be a breeze. But it wasn't! The rocks were just too much. And the sad part was that the grass was tall enough to cover the rocks so you couldn't see if your next step was on soil or on rocks. And that could spell disaster if you lost your balance. It's good thing I got myself a pair of Colombia Titanium Kailua sandals the night before and it did me wonders.

We finally made it down. But not before we almost got attacked by a wild carabao. There are a lot of wild carabaos in the area according to our guide so be careful. It was a good thing our guide saw it in time and scared it away.

Part 2: Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales
Part 3: Capones Island and its lighthouse

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